Arecibo L-band Feed ArrayArecibo Galaxy Environment Survey (AGES)

2004 Pre-cursor Observations & Results

Last Update:

Date Observer(s) Output Files and Comments Comments
19/11/2004 RA, RM, ML wapp.20041119.a1961.0049:Scan2a, 
wapp.20041119.a1961.0050:Scan3a, (At transit)
wapp.20041119.a1961.0051:Scan, Empty File
All amps seem to be fine despite being fried by the radar last night. All observing done manually. Lyle and Mikael's new version of the fixed AZ drift scan widget works a treat. A couple of bugs though: when the Cal is fired using the Start Cal button it does an 'ON' and stays on. Cals were done using the Backend Control widget. ALFA angle is being set in the POINTING widget but it isn't updated in the new widget, which is a bit of a hazard. Wandering birdie present throughout the observing. Suggestions that the RFI is due to the L-band wide dewar monitoring equipment. Calculated ALFA rotation angles are perfect. Nice one Bobby.
20/11/2004 RA, RM wapp.20041120.a1961.0041:Scan, cal file, quicklook power levels not responding to CIMA instructions.
wapp.20041120.a1961.0042:Scan2b,  Scan 2b aborted. CIMA instructions not being passed from GUI to telescope.
wapp.20041120.a1961.0043:Scan3b, Restarted CIMA. Power levels normal
wapp.20041120.a1961.0044:Scan4b, RFI @ 1351 MHz in beams 1,2,5,6,7, 1340 & 1380 MHz in all beams.
wapp.20041120.a1961.0045:Scan5b, RFI @ 1351 MHZ
wapp.20041120.a1961.0046:Scan2b, Decided to ditch 1b to get coverage of middle three strips
wapp.20041120.a1961.0047:Scan,  empty file
First hiccough of the run. Commands from CIMA were not going through to the backend. Initially assumed that it was a communication failure to the Quicklook GUI. Soon became apparent that the Quicklook GUI was reflecting the true state of the telescope. Analysis of the data showed that only some of the commands were passed to the telescope. Restarted CIMA and it started behaving. No wandering birdie tonight, although plenty of other RFI. Decided to redo scan 2b to get full coverage of the central strip. Ditched scan 1b in the process. Recalculated the rotation angle based on the same hour angle i.e. HA = 01:15
21/11/2004 RA, RM wapp.20041121.a1961.0041:Scan2a,  RFI @ 1349.97 MHz in all beams
wapp.20041121.a1961.0042:Scan3a, RFI @ 1349.97 MHz in all beams
wapp.20041121.a1961.0043:Scan4a, Restarted CIMA. Power levels normal
wapp.20041121.a1961.0044:Scan5a, RFI @ 1351 MHz in beams 1,2,5,6,7, 1340 & 1380 MHz in all beams.
wapp.20041121.a1961.0045:Scan1a, RFI @ 1349.97
Wandering birdie has reared its ugly head again. Its unwanted presence is in 0043,0044,0045. An interesting thing: in the final datacubes the birdie manifests itself as the ALFA footprint that wanders about in RA as well as frequency. It is so well defined, that it might be possible to model the beam from the data and then remove it. It really screws things up otherwise.
22/11/2004 RA, RM, EMom wapp.20041122.a1961.0066:Scan2b, Cal initially not set in GUI. Restarted observation with same file
wapp.20041122.a1961.0067:Scan3b, RFI @ 1349.97 MHz in all beams
wapp.20041122.a1961.0068:Scan4b, RFI @ 1349.97 MHz in all beams
wapp.20041122.a1961.0069:Scan5b, RFI @ 1349.97 MHz in all beams
wapp.20041122.a1961.0070:Scan, accidental cal
wapp.20041122.a1961.0071:Scan1b, ALFA angle accidentally set to 60.0 instead of 60.2
wapp.20041122.a1961.0072:Scan, empty file
Wandering birdie in all datafiles. GUI now set up to do a cal at the start of every loop. Now all the observer has to do is point to the new object in the catalogue, fill in the Drift Map widget AZ and ALFA angle and hit observe. (Be sure to type full-stops and not commas to indicate decimal points)
23/11/2004 RA & RM wapp.20041123.a1961.0081:Scan2a, 
wapp.20041123.a1961.0082:Scan3a, Will attempt to cut down wait time between slewing and taking data.
wapp.20041123.a1961.0083:Scan4a, Allowed for 3 minute slew. Cal done while settling
wapp.20041123.a1961.0084:Scan5a, Allowed for 3 minute slew. Made it with slightly more time this time. Lost 5 minutes off the end due to time slot.
NOT ENOUGH TIME TO COMPLETE THE WHOLE RUN. Had to cut down the slew time as much as possible and we still lost the last five minutes of the fourth scan. Because the beam separations are changing before and after meridian, and the scan patterns are determined prior to the observing schedule, you have to have the telescope at a certain AZ at a certain LST with a certain rotation angle. This means that your time slot is set in stone. Is this taken into account when time slots are allocated? The telescope can slew and settle in 3 minutes, just. You have to be quick to point to the new source once the scan has finished.
// wapp..a1961.0062:Scan2b, HA -30 mins
wapp..a1961.0063:Scan3b, HA -5 mins
wapp..a1961.0064:Scan4b, HA +19 mins
wapp..a1961.0065:Scan5b, HA +42 mins
3b problem with mistyped az angle on the list. Observation aborted before starting and correct angle put in. 'Extended list' of Az & rotang worked fine (apart from problem with 3b).
25/11/2004 RM & RA wapp.20041125.a1961.0056:Scan2a, HA -26 mins. Pos_mon fails to show positions for 3 of the beams for a period near the start (RA 1.49 - 1.57). Different beams have different length of drop-out. Data is shown right through on all beams on the online data display waterfalls.
wapp.20041125.a1961.0057:Scan3a, HA -4 mins.
wapp.20041125.a1961.0058:Scan4a, HA +20 mins.
wapp.20041125.a1961.0059:Scan5a, HA +43 mins.
RFI at 1350 MHz as usual. GUI stable. Observing smooth.
28/11/2004 EM,RA,RM,SS wapp.20041128.a1961.0044:Scan2b, HA -28 mins. Beam positions appeared to be reflected for the first 47 secs of the scan.
wapp.20041128.a1961.0045:Scan3b, HA -5 mins
wapp.20041128.a1961.0046:Scan4b, HA +19 mins
wapp.20041128.a1961.0047:Scan5b, HA +42 mins. Error on WAPP(1): ERROR Counts don't match for chips 4-15 @02:23 UT. Doesn't seem to show on the Waterfall.
The reflection problem with first minute is a problem that we noticed on the night of the 25/11/2004 for the first time. Looks like a software problem.
29/11/2004 RA wapp.20041129.a1961.:Scan, 
29/11/2004 SS, RA & RM wapp.20041129.a1961.0044:Scan2a, ALFA COMPRESSOR RESTARTED AT 20:50 (AST). RUN START (HA -0:23)
wapp.20041129.a1961.0045:Scan3a, Scan 3a. Cooling noticed in low temp Cryo (HA 00:00)
wapp.20041129.a1961.0046:Scan4a, (HA 00:23)
wapp.20041129.a1961.0047:Scan5a, (HA 00:46) Only finished half the scan
ONE OF ALFA COMPRESSORS FAILED AFTER POWER WAS LOST. We have decided to start the run and see what the data look likes. The 20K cryo temp is 50K. The 70K is at 110K. Some cooling is being noticed in the low temperature cryo at 21:13. Wandering birdie present, high Tsys and probably terrible baselines. All-in-all a great night's observing. 1st stage levelling off at around 40K. Ganesh thinks this will give us a Tsys of mid 30s.
30/11/2004 RM, RA, SS wapp.20041130.a1961.0044:Scan4b, 
wapp.20041130.a1961.0045:Scan5b, RFI @ 1381 (GPS L3?) & 1412 MHz
First hour of run lost to problems with the ALFA rotator. Observing started 21:30.
01/12/2004 SS, EMom wapp.20041201.a1961.0043:Scan2a, jump at the beginning of the scan.
wapp.20041201.a1961.0045:Scan4a, jump at the beginning of the scan.
wapp.20041201.a1961.0046:Scan5a, jump at the beginning of the scan. Contains part of an aborted scan!
Started several minutes earlier, so we had to calculate the ALFA rot angles for corresponding LSTs. The values have been added to the html table (drift_table.xml). FITS 0046 has been aborted becasue data recording started while antenna was still slewing. However, when "observe" was hit again, CIMA didn't start a new fits file, so bad a and good data are in this same fits file. The wandering birdie revealed itself again @ 1400 MHz (FITS 0046).
02/12/2004 SS,JD wapp.20041202.a1961.0047:Scan2b, First 20 secs alfa was still rotating while observing
wapp.20041202.a1961.0048:Scan3b, Same as 0047
wapp.20041202.a1961.0049:Scan4b, First few seconds same as 0047
wapp.20041202.a1961.0050:Scan5b, Jon in control, just perfect!
We discovered that you must start scan on a LST that is strictly BEFORE (!!) the time in the tables. That is why there are few errors at the start of the scan. NOTE: Change rotation angle while pointing (using the same GUI), this will speed up operation. BUT remember to then re-write the same angle in the 'Spectral Line Observing' GUI.
03/12/2004 SS,JD wapp.20041203.a1961.e.g. (0001):Scan, Any Comments?
No observing, beam 5 is dead.
04/12/2004 SS,JD,EM,WvD wapp.20041204.a1961.0034:Scan2a, Started observing before tracking (few seconds)
wapp.20041204.a1961.0036:Scan4a, Birdy Birdy Birdy Birdy Birdy.
wapp.20041204.a1961.0037:Scan5a, Birdy Birdy Birdy Birdy Birdy.
Stinking wandering birdy turned up AGAIN!!!!! I hate that birdy. I hate the birdy I hate the birdy I hate the birdy I hate the birdy I hate the birdy I hate the birdy
05/12/2004 SS,JD,WvD wapp.20041205.a1961.0032:Scan1b, Aborted
wapp.20041205.a1961.0033:Scan1b, Aborted
wapp.20041205.a1961.0034:Scan1b, Aborted
wapp.20041205.a1961.0035:Scan1b, Aborted
wapp.20041205.a1961.0036:Scan1b, Aborted
wapp.20041205.a1961.0040:Scan4b, >br>wapp.20041205.a1961.0041:Scan5b, 
We found out (thanks to Martha) that the best way to use the GUI for this observing is: 1) Forget about the 'Pointing Control' widget 2) Use ONLY the 'AO Spectral Line Observer' widget and input all the details there. 3) Make sure to have everything set for being in position BEFORE the source gets at the specified AZ. 4) Hit observe and the data acquisition will wait until the source is in place.
13/12/2004 SL, EMom wapp.20041213.a1961.:Scan2a, CIMA problem, coudn't do this scan.
wapp.20041213.a1961.0002:Scan4a, bad data for a short time at the beginning of the scan
wapp.20041213.a1961.0004:Scan1a, bad data for a short time at the beginning of the scan
RFI @ 1350 MHz. RFI at 1367 and 1382 MHz. RFI at 1340 MHz? (it is strong in pol B but weaker in pol A; look at fits 0004)
14/12/2004 SLinder wapp.20041214.a1956.0022:Scan2b, New fits file was not named properly.
wapp.20041214.a1961.0003:Scan1b, source may have set 2 mins before the end.
Wandering birdy seen often around 1371 MHz. Also a stronger signal was seen for ~40 seconds at 1381 MHz during 5b, around 1:08 UTC. I keep getting a warning about the correlator configuration having changed when I hit observe, but things seem to be working, pretty much.. I just logged in at the beginning of the run, but a new fits file wasn't created (or wasn't properly named) until the end of the 2b scan. The 2b data seems to be written into wapp.20041214.a1956.0022.fits. Data in this file appears to be for 2b only and not for the a1956 project.
15/12/2004 SL wapp.20041215.a1961.:Scan, 
Tracking failed 45 minutes before start of run, still not working at the end. No observations.
16/12/2004 EMom wapp.20041216.a1961.0000:Scan2a, Beginning of scan is bad for a short period.
RFI @ 1350 MHz. Smooth run!
17/12/2004 EMom wapp.20041217.a1961.0001:Scan2b, 
Ignore today's *0000.fits file. Radar @ 1350 MHz. Smooth run!
18/12/2004 EMM wapp.20041218.a1961.0000:Scan2a, Cal at loopend. oops
wapp.20041218.a1961.0001:Scan3a, Cal at loopend, oops
wapp.20041218.a1961.0002:Scan4a, I goofed and set scan for only 780 sec (13 min). Cal at loopend, oops
wapp.20041218.a1961.0003:Scan5a, Cal at loopstart, as per directions.
wapp.20041218.a1961.0004:Scan1a, cal also at loopstart. I have this figured out now!
Wahoo!, a bevvy of issues: Cal is set to loopend for 0000-0002. oops. Livedata SHOULD be able to cope. If not, use a stick. My goof was fun and lost another 7 minutes there. The 1350 radar was present for 0000 and half of 0001. No other issues, and no birdy!